Why do some people bounce back from difficult situations more easily than others? How is it that they are more resilient? Training can help. Managers can help their teams to become more resilient and confident. Training your people to handle difficult situations helps them to respond appropriately.
Letting people fail – Allowing people to fail builds resiliency. People need to try, to risk, and then try some more. This comes from failing a few times along the way. Resilient people are not people who have never failed. They are people who have learned from trying, failing, and trying again. Richard Branson for example, has failed several times along the way to becoming a billionaire business leader. Steve Jobs failed – he was pushed out of Apple in 1985 even though he was one of the founders of the company. He returned to the firm in 1997 and it is now the worlds largest company by revenue. One of the issues today is that people are afraid to allow for mistakes, and they want to protect others from failure. However, every good manager knows that if we never fall over, we won’t learn how to get back up again.
Teaching your team to solve problems – Solving problems doesn’t mean solving them all yourself. The most difficult task a manager has is to resist doing something themselves even though they may be able to solve the problem more quickly. Instead, managers need to step back and ask their people: “What is the next step?” or “What do you think you should do?” It is really hard watching people make mistakes without stepping in, but your team will never learn if someone else is doing their job for them. It will pay off in the long term as your team becomes more capable and confident.
Focus on the big picture – It is easy for your team to get discouraged if they only see the failures. Teach them to consider the big picture. They should be encouraged to see every step of the learning process as being a step towards success, even if that attempt doesn’t result in a solution to whatever problem they are facing. Getting it wrong along the way should be ok in the grand scheme of things. Equally when they get it right, encourage them to see how this has contributed to the overall success of the business.
Accountability – Making allowances for people to fail does not mean that people shouldn’t be held accountable. Failure without a lesson is failure in its worst form. By contrast, failure with a lesson is a learning process. Encourage your teams to consider what went right and what went wrong, and to note what lessons have been learned from the process. Your team should take note of the failures and figure out a way to avoid failing in the future. They should be encouraged to accept responsibility for the problem and move to create a better outcome.
A problem versus an inconvenience – Problems are serious issues that are a real threat to the business. Inconveniences are when you get stuck in traffic on the way to the office, for example. You and your team should focus on letting the inconveniences go and focus on solving the real problems.